In the earliest church, depicted in the book of Acts, I have noted 5 things that were common amongst these believers.
1. Pursue God by reading His word and talking to Him in prayer
2. Stand in fear (or “phobos”), total awe and reverence of and devotion to the Lord
3. Receive the peace of Christ that surpasses all understanding
4. Enjoy the blessing and encouragement of the Holy Spirit
5. Experience salvation in the lives of others and watch the church grow
Today we will begin to examine each of these. Let’s begin with how we pursue God.
Ps 119:11 – 16 says “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your word. I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. I have hidden Your word in my heart so that I might not sin against You. Praise be to You O Lord; teach me Your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from Your mouth. I rejoice in Your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways. I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your word. ”
The Word of Christ is our protection. It is our defense against the onslaught from our own sin nature and Satan drawing us away from Truth, inviting us to make our own way in the world, losing sight of the One who made us. God’s Word is our guide. God in His outrageous love for us, gave us His spoken Word in the life and death of His Son Jesus to direct our every thought, word, and choice. Heb 4:12-13 says: “For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
God’s word, unlike anything else in this world is able to unearth our hidden desires, thoughts, and sin, bringing us face to face with the reality of the sovereign and holy God. God’s Word never returns void. It produces real change in the lives of all who submit themselves to Gods truth revealed there.
Jeremiah 23:29 ” Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in
Humility and repentance before the Lord lead to obedience and dependence on the Lord. As God’s word reveals the depth of deceit and blackness of our hearts we are struck to the core. Our Spirit led response is to cry out to God and ask for His forgiveness and restoration, His protection and guidance. Our thankful response is instructive not only to our own lives but to all the saints in the church.
With confidence we can come before the throne of our Maker and express our deepest fears, concerns,
needs, and desires. And He hears us! In fact He already knows what we need before we utter a word
(Mt 6:8). Even when we are unable to adequately or even accurately convey our thoughts, the Holy
Spirit AND Christ Jesus are doing so on our behalf (Rom 8:26, 27,34)! He gives us the desires of our heart when we delight ourselves in Him (PS 37:4). Our only requirement is to speak with Him. We have to be
in relationship with His Son Jesus, because He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through the Son (JN 14:6).
Steep yourself in the words of life given us by God and His Son Jesus. With thankfulness in our hearts make your petitions known to Him who is able to give us all we could ever ask or imagine. To Him be all the glory and honor. Amen!